Friday, March 13, 2009

How often should I talk to my donors?

The million dollar question.

Which in fact can be answered quite easily by looking at the attached image.

The short answer is as long as you follow this communications cycle then it is doesn’t matter how often you talk to your donors. And for that matter it doesn’t matter how often you ask them to do something, IF you consistently feedback and care.

I’m posting this because I’m regularly asked, ‘how often should I mail my donors’ or ‘how often should I be communicating’?

Fundraisers obsess about this. To the point where fear of ‘saturating’ donors creates a paralyzing situation where we do nothing. Created by fear and anecdote and nothing else. The organizations I have seen that have the most robust and healthy programs are those that communicate the most often (not ask, but communicate).

And within that, those who have the most successful programs follow the attached diagram.

Asking when you need the money.

Thanking genuinely and promptly.

Caring in between. Telling people how they made an impact, getting people involved, treating them as they were your friends.

You get this right and you have cracked it. You now know the answer to the million dollar question.


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